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April 28    Scripture

Bible Cities: Dan
Ancient Dan

Map of Ancient Dan


Dan in Easton's Bible Dictionary a judge. (1.) The fifth son of Jacob. His mother was Bilhah, Rachel's maid (Gen. 30:6, "God hath judged me", Heb. dananni). The blessing pronounced on him by his father was, "Dan shall judge his people" (49:16), probably in allusion to the judgeship of Samson, who was of the tribe of Dan. The tribe of Dan had their place in the march through the wilderness on the north side of the tabernacle (Num. 2:25, 31; 10:25). It was the last of the tribes to receive a portion in the Land of Promise. Its position and extent are described in Josh. 19:40-48. The territory of Dan extended from the west of that of Ephraim and Benjamin to the sea. It was a small territory, but was very fertile. It included in it, among others, the cities of Lydda, Ekron, and Joppa, which formed its northern boundary. But this district was too limited. "Squeezed into the narrow strip between the mountains and the sea, its energies were great beyond its numbers." Being pressed by the Amorites and the Philistines, whom they were unable to conquer, they longed for a wider space. They accordingly sent out five spies from two of their towns, who went north to the sources of the Jordan, and brought back a favourable report regarding that region. "Arise," they said, "be not slothful to go, and to possess the land," for it is "a place where there is no want of any thing that is in the earth" (Judg. 18:10). On receiving this report, 600 Danites girded on their weapons of war, and taking with them their wives and their children, marched to the foot of Hermon, and fought against Leshem, and took it from the Sidonians, and dwelt therein, and changed the name of the conquered town to Dan (Josh. 19:47). This new city of Dan became to them a new home, and was wont to be spoken of as the northern limit of Israel, the length of which came to be denoted by the expression "from Dan to Beersheba", i.e., about 144 miles. "But like Lot under a similar temptation, they seem to have succumbed to the evil influences around them, and to have sunk down into a condition of semi-heathenism from which they never emerged. The mounds of ruins which mark the site of the city show that it covered a considerable extent of ground. But there remains no record of any noble deed wrought by the degenerate tribe. Their name disappears from the roll-book of the natural and the spiritual Israel.", Manning's Those Holy Fields. This old border city was originally called Laish. Its modern name is Tell el-Kady, "Hill of the Judge." It stands about four miles below Caesarea Philippi, in the midst of a region of surpassing richness and beauty. (2.) This name occurs in Ezek 27:19, Authorize Version; but the words there, "Dan also," should be simply, as in the Revised Version, "Vedan," an Arabian city, from which various kinds of merchandise were brought to Tyre. Some suppose it to have been the city of Aden in Arabia. (See MAHANEH-DAN T0002375.)
http://www.bible-history.com/eastons/D/Dan/


Dan in Fausset's Bible Dictionary The city at the northern bound of Israel, as Beersheba was the southern, so that" from Dan even to Beersheba" (Judges 20:1, etc., and bitterly, 1 Chronicles 21:2, "from Beersheba even to Dan") expresses the whole country. Originally Leshem or Laish, see above. "Far from Zidon, in the valley that lieth by Beth Rebob," but belonging to Zidon, as their living "after the manner of the Zidonians" implies; they were too far off for Zidon to help them when attacked by the Danites (Judges 18:7; Judges 18:28). Already in Abraham's time, the spot was called by him Dan, the scene of God's "judgment" on Chedorlaomer and the invaders (Genesis 14:14; compare Isaiah 41:1-3). But its ordinary name was even then Lasha or Laish, the north-eastern bound of Canaan, as Sodom was the southwestern bound (Genesis 10:19). This too would be an additional reason for the Danites naming their city close by Abraham's camping ground, Daniel The repetition thrice of "the city" (Judges 18:28-29) marks that there was already another application of the name "Dan," namely, to Abraham's camping ground (compare Deuteronomy 34:1). Le Clerc suggests that the fountain was called Dan, "judge," as Ainmishpat means "the fount of justice." The city was smitten by Benhadad (1 Kings 15:20, the last place of mentioning it). Now Tel-el-Kady (the Arabic equivalent to Dan), "the judge's mound," whose long level top is strewed with ruins, probably those of Daniel From its foot gushes out one of the largest fountains in the world, the main source of the Jordan, called el Led-dan, a corruption of Dan, and the stream from it Nahr ed Dahn; all these names confirming Le Clerc's view. The land is truly "a large land, where there is no want of anything that is on the earth" (Judges 18:10). In 1 Kings 7:13-14, Hiram the worker in brass is said to be of Naphtali; but in 2 Chronicles 2:13-14, he is called "son of a woman of Dan." As the "outgoings" of Naphtali were at Jordan, the city Dan probably was in the tribe of Naphtali. So she dwelt in Naphtali, but was by birth of the Danite colony there. An undesigned mark of truth. The seeming discrepancy, thus cleared, powerfully disproves the possibility of collusion, and shows the witness of Kings and of Chronicles to be mutually independent and true. A place in S. Arabia from whence the Phoenicians obtained wrought iron, cassia, and calamus (Ezekiel 27:19). "Dan also." Since none of the other places begin with "also" (Hebrew w-), Fairbairn translates it as Vedan, the modern Aden, near the straits of Babelmandeb. Ptolemy mentions a Dara. But probably, as Judah is mentioned in Ezekiel 27:17, so Dan in Ezekiel 27:19 represents northern Israel. Sailors from ports of Dan, with descendants of Javan, traded in the fairs of Tyre, "going to and fro."
http://www.bible-history.com/faussets/D/Dan+(2)/


Dan in Hitchcock's Bible Names judgment; he that judges
http://www.bible-history.com/hitchcock/D/Dan/


Dan in Naves Topical Bible 1. Fifth son of Jacob and Bilhah Ge 30:6; 35:25 Descendants of Ge 46:23; Nu 26:42,43 See TRIBE OF, below Blessed of Jacob Ge 49:16,17 -2. TRIBE OF Census of Nu 1:39; 26:42,43 Inheritance of, according to the allotment of Joshua Jos 19:40-47 Of Ezekiel Eze 48:1 Position of, in journey and camp, during the exodus Nu 2:25,31; 10:25 Blessed by Moses De 33:22 Fail to conquer the Amorites Jud 1:34,35 Conquests by Jos 19:47; Jud 18:27-29 Deborah rebukes, for their cowardice Jud 5:17 Idolatry of Jud 18 Commerce of Jud 5:17; Eze 27:19 See ISRAEL, TRIBES OF -3. A city of the tribe of Dan Also called LAISH, and LESHEM Ge 14:14; De 34:1; Jud 20:1; Jer 8:16 Captured by the people of Dan Jos 19:47 Idolatry established at Jud 18; 1Ki 12:28,29; Am 8:14 Capture by Ben-hadad
http://www.bible-history.com/naves/D/DAN/


Dan in Smiths Bible Dictionary (a judge). 1. The fifth son of Jacob, and the first of Bilhah, Rachel's maid. Ge 30:6 (B.C. after 1753.) The origin of the name is given in the exclamation of Rachel. The records of Dan are unusually meagre. Only one son is attributed to him, Ge 46:23 but his tribe was, with the exception of Judah, the most numerous of all. In the division of the promised land Dan was the last of the tribes to receive his portion, which was the smallest of the twelve. Jos 19:48 But notwithstanding its smallness it had eminent natural advantages. On the north and east it was completely embraced by its two brother tribes Ephraim and Benjamin, while on the southeast and south it joined Judah, and was thus surrounded by the three most powerful states of the whole confederacy. It was a rich and fertile district; but the Amorites soon "forced them into the mountain," Jud 1:34 and they had another portion granted them. Judges 18. In the "security" and "quiet," Jud 18:7,10 of their rich northern possession the Danites enjoyed the leisure and repose which had been denied them in their original seat. In the time of David Dan still kept its place among the tribes. 1Ch 12:35 Asher is omitted, but the "prince of the tribe of Dan" is mentioned in the list of 1Ch 27:22 But from this time forward the name as applied to the tribe vanishes; it is kept alive only by the northern city. In the genealogies of 1Chr 2-12, Dan is omitted entirely. Lastly, Dan is omitted from the list of those who were sealed by the angel in the vision of St. John. Re 7:5-7 2. The well-known city, so familiar as the most northern landmark of Israel, in the common expression "from Dan even to beersheba." The name of the place was originally LAISH or LESHEM. Jos 19:47 After the establishment of the Danites at Dan it became the acknowledged extremity of the country. It is now Tell el-Kadi, a mound, three miles from Banias, from the foot of which gushes out one of the largest fountains in the world, the main source of the Jordan.
http://www.bible-history.com/smiths/D/Dan/


Dan in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE A city familiar as marking the northern limit of the land of Israel in the common phrase "from Dan even to Beer-sheba" (Jdg 20:1; 1 Sam 3:20, etc.). Its ancient name was Laish or Leshem (Jdg 18:7, etc.). It was probably an outlying settlement of Tyre of Sidon. Its inhabitants, pursuing the ends of peaceful traders, were defenseless against the onset of the Danite raiders. Having captured the city the Danites gave it the name of their own tribal ancestor (Jdg 18). It lay in the valley near Beth-rehob (Jdg 18:28). Josephus places it near Mt. Lebanon and the fountain of the lesser Jordan, a day's journey from Sidon (Ant., V, iii, 1; VIII, viii, 4; BJ, IV, i, 1). Eusebius, Onomasticon says it lay 4 Roman miles from Paneas on the way to Tyre, at the source of the Jordan. This points decisively to Tell el-Qady, in the plain West of Banias. The mound of this name--Kady is the exact Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew Dan--rises from among the bushes and reeds to a height varying from 40 to 80 ft. The largest of all the springs of the Jordan rises on the west side. The waters join with those of a smaller spring on the other side to form Nahr el-Leddan which flows southward to meet the streams from Banias and Chasbeiyeh. The mound, which is the crater of an extinct volcano, has certain ancient remains on the south side, while the tomb of Sheikh Marzuk is sheltered by two holy trees. The sanctuary and ritual established by the Danites persisted as long as the house of God was in Shiloh, and the priesthood in this idolatrous shrine remained in the family of Jonathan till the conquest of Tiglath-pileser (Jdg 18:30; 2 Ki 15:29). Here Jeroboam I set up the golden calf. The ancient sanctity of the place would tend to promote the success of his scheme (1 Ki 12:28 f, etc.). The calf, according to a Jewish tradition, was taken away by Tiglath-pileser. Dan fell before Benhadad, king of Syria (1 Ki 15:20; 2 Ch 16:4). It was regained by Jeroboam II (2 Ki 14:25). It shared the country's fate at th hands of Tiglath-pileser (2 Ki 15:29). It was to this district that Abraham pursued the army of Chedorlaomer (Gen 14:14). For Dr. G. A. Smith's suggestion that Dan may have been at Banias see HGHL1, 473, 480 f.
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/D/DAN+(2)/


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